Best Nikon DSLR GPS

di-gpsoncamera.jpg

It has been a while since I’ve looked at GPS units for my Nikon DSLRs and yes it’s sad that in 2015 we still have to look at external solutions. However, that is the current state of affairs and the good news is that the prices have come down and the units continue to get better. Recently I was debating going with a NEW Nikon D750 vs a D810. When I was leaning strongly towards the D750 I tested my existing GPS unit (the one on my Nikon D600) and realized that since the GPS port was in a higher spot on the body that my Dawn di-GPS Eco model just wouldn’t work.

di-gps-eco-prosumer

It’s a shame because I really like the flush to the body design of the di-GPS Eco models. I reached out to Dawn Tech to see if there was one on the horizon for the D750 and they informed me that they were working on something, but it wasn’t ready yet. In the mean time I got the UPDATED Mini3 MTK S5. I had worked with the older model in the past and this newer one now includes the “Last Position Memory” function, which is great for those times when you go inside and keep shooting. More importantly it has an even lower power consumption (19mA, less than 1/3 of the current consumption of Nikon’s own GP-1). While it doesn’t have the flush to the body design that I like so much in the di-GPS Eco, it’s very lightweight and can either sit in the hot shoe or attach to the camera strap.

di-gps-eco-pro

I ultimately decided on and bought the Nikon D810. So this means that I get to use the Eco ProFessional M model. This one has the same “flush” design that I like and it even has the important pass through terminal port so that I can use my cable release or other accessories.

di-gps-eco-pro-detatched

The Bottom Line

di-gps-eco-prosumer-Nikon_d600

Nikon has had GPS support built-in to their DSLRs for years, but still refuses to build the actual GPS receiver in to their DSLR bodies or battery grips.

 

I love geotagging my photos as I take them. I use the Maps module in Lightroom quite a bit for my landscape and travel photos. It’s also easier to answer that “where did you take that shot” question as the galleries on my website also take advantage of this data allowing visitors to see exactly where each shot was taken. Sure there are many solutions and even iPhone apps like this one, but the most accurate and convenient way is to have the GPS data logged right into the metadata of each shot as you take them. While I applaud Nikon for having direct GPS support right in the menu of their DSLRs, it’s a shame that in 2015 we still have to buy “EXTERNAL” modules. As I’ve said many times I’d love to see this either built right in or at least built into an “optional” battery grip. Until that happens The GPS units from Dawn are your best bet.

Lightroom_GPS_Maps_Module

Using the Maps module I can easily see exactly where shots were taken and even copy to GPS data to images that were taken with other cameras that didn’t have GPS.

 

 



How To Backup Your Photos

backup_photos

While having dinner with friends the conversation came up about running out of space on a laptop. I asked my friend who is retired and travels for pleasure most of the time, how he backs up his photos? He told me at first that he had merely moved some photos onto a “USB stick”. I dug a little deeper (knowing that my friend knows a lot about computers) and found out that he does have a backup strategy that involves multiple drives and offsite backup. Whew!! However, that got me thinking about the question I get a lot from new photographers, “how do you backup your photos?”  Unlike your regular documents, chances are you have photos “everywhere”. You have photos on your memory cards. You have photos on your hard drive. You have photos on your “other” hard drive. You have photos on your smartphone. You have photos on your tablet. You have photos online. Worst yet the problem will continue to grow as you take more photos every day and you acquire more devices. There is nothing else you have electronically that will likely be in so many places and continue to grow. Music and videos can be a mess too, but generally you’re shooting more photos than you are videos and acquiring new music.

How to Backup Your Photos

This post is really not about a specific piece of hardware or software. Sure  I will share the specific hardware and software that I use, but I really want you to focus on a simple rule first: “Always have your photos in at least three places with one of those places being offsite.” No matter what software, hardware or even cloud based solution you have, the worst mistake you can make is relying on ANY one thing/service. No matter what hard drive you buy, computer you use, service you backup to, etc., they are ALL SUBJECT TO FAIL! Nothing manmade will last forever. So don’t rely on any one thing to be the sole location for your precious memories. If you follow the simple rule above, you’ll be in a lot safer position than the average person out there.

damaged-laptop

What’s my workflow and how do I backup my photos?

Lightroom_all_photographs

Since this is a question I get on a regular basis I’ll share with you exactly what I do and how I backup. Keeping the rule in the previous paragraph in mind I know that my photos need to be in at least three places with one of those places being offsite. In that case let’s walk through one of my shoots:

Location #1

I either shoot on location to a memory card(s) or in studio tethered directly to my MacBook Pro. In the case of being on location the images are captured to the memory card first and that’s the first (temporary) location of my images by default. When I shoot tethered my images go directly to my laptop hard drive (yes you can use an external, but I don’t since they won’t be there for long.)

Location #2

If I shot on location then I import the images into a folder on my MacBook Pro drive and from there into Adobe Lightroom 5. Since the images are still on the card this becomes location #2 by default. However, if I shot tethered then the photos are already in a folder on my drive. Since I’m on the Mac, I have TWO Time Machine Backups setup that AUTOMATICALLY alternate backing up every hour. This is the real location #2 (Location #1 = MacBook Pro and Location #2 one of two Time Machine Backup drives on the network).

Location #3a

This one doesn’t really count as Location #3 because the photos are ultimately “moved” from my MacBook Pro onto a Drobo 5D which is attached to my Mac OS X Server (Mac mini). In other words the photos from my recent shoot are on the MacBook Pro hard drive while I work on them, retouch them and then finally deliver them. Once I’m done with them I move that folder from my MacBook Pro hard drive to my Drobo hard drive.  So technically this is still location #2 as the photos will either be on the MacBook Pro OR the Drobo, but not both. I put this location in because it is part of the workflow.

Location #3b

Not only were my photos being backed up to my TWO Time Machine backups within 1 to 2 hours after being on my home network, they are also being backed up OFFSITE to CrashPlan.com. CrashPlan works in the background and immediately starts backing up any new files added to my pictures folder on my MacBook Pro. However, let’s say for the sake of argument that I move them to the Drobo before CrashPlan has a chance to back them all up. What happens then? You guessed it, the Mac mini connected to the Drobo is also backing up to Crashplan.com. In either case the photos will either get backed up offsite from the MacBook Pro or from the Mac mini if not both.

drobo-server-closet

Location #1 AGAIN

It’s important to note that the Mac OS X Server (Mac mini with the Drobo 5D) ultimately becomes my archive. It’s where ALL of my photos eventually end up. It’s where my Lightroom catalogs point to for photos taken in years past. This means that the Mac mini/Drobo 5D technically becomes location #1 at some point in the digital life of my photos. So what now?

Location #2 AGAIN

The Mac OS X Server is backed up via Time Machine to ANOTHER Drobo. A networked Drobo 5N. This ultimately becomes  location #2.

Location #3 is still Location #3

The Mac OS X Server is backed up offsite AUTOMATICALLY via CrashPlan.com. I could even setup CrashPlan as an App on the Drobo 5N so that it’s backs up the backup offsite.

Bonus Backup Locations

If all I had was the above strategy/workflow I’d feel “pretty” comfortable, but I’m a paranoid kinda guy when it comes to my data. So I have some bonus backups. Since Time Machine can backup automatically to as many drives as you add to it (automatically alternating between them), I backup on the go to small WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Drive. This one is the one that I travel with. Since I shoot out of town from time to time I can’t chance that my photos won’t be backed up before I get home. Therefore the memory cards become Location #1, the MacBook Pro hard drive becomes Location #2 and the WD My Passport Wireless Time Machine backup becomes location #3 on the road. Not to mention that if my internet connection is fast enough that CrashPlan is doing it’s thing in the background too. As far as just my data goes in general I have yet another backup of my entire drive. A “clone” backup (using either SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner) to another 1TB G-Drive Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 portable drive. This backup is less about photos and more about the day that my computer or OS gets hosed and I need to boot immediately and continue with my presentation/work. In other words for those scenarios when I don’t have time to do a Time Machine restore.

Since I now have a 2TB WD My Passport Wireless Drive with a built-in SD slot. I can make a backup of the card(s) in the field before I even get back to my computer.

The Never Ending Need for More Storage

stack_of_photos

Like I said in the opening, you’re going to be taking photos from here on out for the rest of your life. This means that you will always be ADDING files to your hard drives. Most users think that once their “main” drive fills up, just go buy an external drive. Yes, that works but it’s something you’re always going to need to do. Sure you can buy a bigger drive next time and copy everything from the first external onto the new external and that’s what I used to do. That was until copying everything got to the point that it was taking 18-24 hours to copy.

Drobo_S_Open

 

I knew years ago that I was going to need an “scalable” storage system and that’s why I went with Drobo way back then. They’re Beyond RAID technology allows me to swap out/or add a drive in my Drobo with a larger one without having to stop working or even reboot. As I need more space I just put in more/larger drives. If one (or even two drives fail at the same time) fails my data is protected. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need to backup. Remember what I said about everything manmade will eventually FAIL? Drobo or any other RAID system can fail at any time. However, I must say that to date I’ve had no major issues with my Drobo hardware and it has protected me on more than one occasion from drives that have died.

drobo_drive_failure

One day I came home to an email alert from my Drobo letting me know that one of the drives had failed. It safely protected the data with no data loss. I replaced the drive and kept right on working! Also feeling at ease knowing that I had a BACKUP!

 

I know that Drobo (or any other storage solution) can and will fail at some point, but that’s why I backup! That’s why I never depend on ANY one thing being the sole location of my precious data/photos.

Q&A

Q. Do I have to do what you do?

A. Nope, you can do whatever you want. They’re your photos.

Q. What about SSD drives? Aren’t they crash proof?

A. A common misconception about Solid State Drives (SSD) is that since they have no moving parts, they won’t crash. While I would agree that this makes them “less” crash prone, it doesn’t mean that they can’t die or have an issue that results in the loss of data. As a matter of fact I have first hand experience with losing data that was on a NEW SSD. See that story here.

Q. I don’t trust cloud services. Do I have to use CrashPlan?

A. Nope! The main thing is that you have at least one copy of your data OFFSITE. What good is a backup that sits right next to your computer if someone breaks in and steals the computer AND the backup drive or if you have a fire, flood or other major loss? I know many people that simply have two or more backup drives that they rotate between a friend/relative’s house or a safe deposit box at the bank. As a matter of fact this was my method for offsite backup before I started using CrashPlan. My server would do a clone backup to an external drive each night. I would take the drive to the bank and swap it about once a week. That’s how it started anyway. Then once a week became twice a month. Twice a month became once a month. Once a month became “I can’t remember the last time I swapped backups.” I use CrashPlan because it’s one less thing I have to think about. It works in the background and backs my photos/data up to their servers without having to think about it. It has already come in handy. Also on a side note you can still use CrashPlan without backing up to their servers! That’s right, you can download their software for free and set it up so that it backs up your computer to another computer (say at a friend’s or relative’s house) over the internet. You still have an offsite backup that’s automatic, but you control the location of the data. Provided you trust your friends or relatives :-)

Q. CrashPlan sounds great! Why not just use that (or a similar service)?

A. You still want a local backup for a few reasons. #1 if something does happen it’s a whole lot faster to restore from a local backup then it is from the cloud. #2 CrashPlan doesn’t backup their servers! That’s right, they openly state that their servers are NOT backed up. Why? Because they know that they are your only backup.

Q. What do you get out of telling us all this?

A. What I hope to get is the peace of mind knowing that I helped at least one person protect their data and I will not have to hear one more person’s story about how they lost everything because of hardware failure or a virus. Drives are SO CHEAP now that there is NO REASON not to have multiple backups.

Q. I upload my photos to Facebook, Flickr, 500px, Smugmug, etc., is that a backup?

A. When you share your photos on social media it’s usually designed to be a one way trip. In other words most sites are not designed to share the original quality of the photo, store it and let your download it again. When you upload a photo to Facebook, that version is highly compressed and looks worse than the original. While having your photos online is better than nothing, it’s not a backup and there is no guarantee that the online entity will allow you to keep them there forever or even be around forever.

Q. You mentioned smartphones. Yes I have photos there that aren’t anywhere else. How are you handling those photos?

wpid14311-DSC_8858_sm.jpg

A. I look at my iPhone as another camera. I shoot with it and it’s true I don’t always download them to my computer right away, I do want them backed up. Luckily Apple let’s you do this for FREE. iCloud backup is free (5GB of YOUR data) and built-in to iOS. My iPhone 6 Plus gets backed up every night automatically. I also use Lightroom Mobile. I have a Collection in Lightroom Mobile on my iPhone and my iPad set to “Auto Import”. As soon as I launch Lightroom Mobile on my iPhone it imports any new pictures from my camera roll and syncs them to the cloud. These photos appear in Lightroom on my desktop (MacBook Pro) right along side my other photos. My MacBook Pro is being backed up as outlined above. Lightroom is the center of my photo universe. If it’s an important photo to me then it’s in my Lightroom catalog and the actual digital file (RAW or JPG) is in a folder on my server and two other places.

The Bottom Line

My goal is to always have my photos in at least three places! As you can see from the above workflow I’m cover 99% of the time. Even with what I do above there are still chances for loss. For example, a memory card can go bad before the pictures are ever transferred to the computer or copied to another card in the camera. If recovery software/services can’t retrieve them, they’re gone! What if all your camera equipment is stolen while you’re still out of town? There’s no way to be 100% safe, but at least with a workflow like the one above you’d be covered for the most common situations.



30 Days Later – 30 NEW Adobe Creative Cloud Tutorials

creative_cloud_2014

One New Years Resolution completed. At the beginning of the year I promised to deliver a new Adobe Creative Cloud Tutorial each day during the month of January starting on January 2nd. I’m happy to say that my 30 Days of Creative Cloud Tutorials are done and have been very well received! At last count the video have had over 80,000 views and climbing. I also received lots of direct feedback on Twitter and my Facebook page. Most of the tutorials focused on the questions I get every day over and over again. I also took the liberty of working in mobile workflows wherever I could. Of course I’ll continue to do more throughout the year and cover new features as they are added to Creative Cloud. In the mean time, check out what you’ve missed here in this playlist featuring all 30 videos:

 



OWC Creates a Better Thunderbolt Dock

OWC-thunderbolt-2-dock

In 2013 I got the Belkin Thunderbolt Dock and I’ve been quite happy with it. So what could change in two years? Well, a lot. The basic principle is the same. A Thunderbolt dock allows you to plug in a single Thunderbolt cable into your Mac and expand the ports giving you more USB 3 ports, Firewire 800, audio line in/line out, etc. The NEW OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock does what you would expect but offers 5 USB 3.0 ports instead of 3. It offers 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, and HDMI (with 4K support) in addition to Firewire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio in/out. Two of the five USB 3.0 ports are also high powered for charging your bigger devices such as iPads. With they addition of HDMI this means that now I only have to plug ONE Thunderbolt 2 cable and one display port cable to my Cintiq 24HD into my MacBook Pro and ALL of my devices and displays are connected.

wpid14281-IMG_3522_sm.jpg

For those of us who use our MacBook Pros like a desktop computer when we’re at our desks, these Thunderbolt docks are indispensable. It makes coming home or back to the office so much easier by just having to plug in one or two cables to have all of your devices connected. Now if it could only cut down on the amount of clutter on my desk, I’d be even happier! :-)

You can get/pre-order the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock here. Initial supplies are limited. I ordered mine the minute they announced it and was happy when it shipped.

 



My Favorite Lightroom plugin Client Response Gallery gets Upgraded!

victoria-gallery-TTG-CE4-CRG

I’ve talked about and shown The Turning Gate’s Client Response Gallery plugin for Lightroom. This plugin produces a totally customizable web gallery to get feedback/pic selections from your client. I couldn’t imagine being a photographer without this awesome solution. Last year The Turning Gate moved all of their popular web publishing solutions to their CE4 platform. The obvious omission was the Client Response Gallery (CRG). What the CE4 platform enabled was the ability to use Lightroom’s “Publish Services” to update your website (no matter where it’s hosted) with the same ease as publishing directly to Facebook or Flickr. No more having to export a gallery and use FTP or having to configure and use Lightroom’s FTP. Although the front end of my photography website (http://terrywhitephotography.com) was created with Adobe Muse CC, the galleries are all powered via the The Turning Gate’s Web Publishing Suite. This means that all I have to do to update my site is drag photos into a collection and hit the “Publish” button – Done!

Now imagine that same convenience for putting up a web gallery of “proofs” for your client to look through, select and send those selections back to you. That’s exactly what the NEW CE4 Client Response Gallery brings to the table.

TTG-CRG-CE4-Albums

Now I can just create a new Lightroom Collection under the Client Response Gallery Publish Service and click the Publish button.

TTG-CRG-CE4-Collection

My images are uploaded at the web resolution I specify with my copyright watermark on them. Once the upload completes I just send my client an email or text message with the link to their gallery.

TTG-CRG-CE4-largeimage

They can scroll through the thumbnails, click to view the larger versions, play a slideshow and make selections. Even the color labels that I use for identifying my favorites or their (in studio) favorites are shown to make the selection process go faster. They click the Send button, put their name, email address and any comments in and I get an email with the exact photo “titles” that they chose. Now I can simply select the names in the email, copy them and then paste them in the Text search in Lightroom to show me exactly which ones I need to retouch.

TTG-CRG-CE4-responseform

The NEW CE4 Client Response Gallery offers even more customization options and the overall performance has been improved. While the price has increased from $25 to now $50 (upgrade pricing is available), it is worth every penny as it saves me time and headache with every single shoot that I do.

You can get the CE4 Client Response Gallery here.

If you’re looking for a GREAT place to host your website or your web galleries, check out Bluehost.com as they’re having a sale on their hosting from now through the end of January 2015.

bluehost-jan-banner

 



Web Hosting Sale! – Ends January 31, 2015

bluehost-jan-banner

Hey everyone, the good folks over at Bluehost.com are offering my readers 42% off web hosting if you signup by January 31, 2015. As you know, Bluehost is now my preferred hosting service and I have successfully moved my sites there with no issues to date.

If you need good web hosting for your Adobe Muse websites, Lightroom galleries, etc., then check out Bluehost.com here.

An even smaller travel router – HooToo

HooToo-inmyhand

Late last year I declared that the Netgear Trek300 was my new favorite travel router. (that was sooooo last year 😉 ) However, it didn’t take long for one of my readers to point me to an even smaller travel router with many of the same features as the Netgear at half the price. I like the HooToo TripMate Nano for many of the same reasons that I like the Netgear:

  • Provides an 802.11n WiFi hotspot for all of your devices to connect to on the road.
  • Works with either Ethernet in your room or public WiFi
  • Powered via USB
  • Small lightweight and inexpensive

As I stated in the Netgear review, I was used to carrying around a bigger much more expensive AirPort Express Base Station, but the one thing the AirPort can’t do is allow you to share a public WiFi connection. In other words many hotel rooms now don’t have ethernet jacks anymore. This renders the AirPort Express pretty much useless because it requires an Ethernet connection to share. The HooToo has a small (everything) switch on the side that lets you toggle to either a wired connection or a wireless one. There is another feature that the HooToo has that the other ones I use don’t and that is the ability to plug in a thumb drive or other USB drive and share files wirelessly.

What’s it lack that the Netgear or AirPort has?

Well with a small size you do give up a couple of things. First off there is only one ethernet port. This means that you can only use it to connect to a wired connection (in wired mode) and not share to another device that requires a wired connection. This really isn’t an issue for me as I rarely ever need to plug in a second device that only has ethernet. The next thing is that the Netgear can be powered over USB or plugged directly into an AC outlet. The HooToo only has a micro USB port for power. Again I’m fine with that as I just plug it into my Anker 60W 6-Port Desktop Charger along with the other devices I’m charging at night. Lastly the HooToo can’t extend the range of an existing network. Again, not something I need on the road and this feature is more for home users.

Some other limitations: TripMate is Powerful, BUT:
– Cannot bridge an iPhone hotspot
– Cannot be used for IP camera FTP path
– Cannot work as a proxy server
– The Ethernet port can only be used as a WAN input port
– No app for Windows Phone OS
– Supports NTFS/FAT16/FAT32 formatted disks

The Bottom Line

The HooToo Tripmate Nano is the smallest, lightest most functional WiFi travel router that I’ve seen to date and it has officially kicked the Netgear out of my bag. I used it on my last trip with no issues (other than the bright blue LED that can keep you up at night). I stayed in an Embassy Suites hotel which only had WiFi. I was able to configure the HooToo via the iOS App or the web browser on my Mac. Once I connected I joined the hhonors hotspot and then from my Mac I got the regular Hilton logon screen to accept the terms and connect (the WiFi was free). From that point my devices were connected to my secure network in my room. Now if only Hilton would speed up their internet services across their hotel chains I would be even happier.

Get the HooToo Tripmate Nano here for a ridiculously low price.

Get the iOS app here from the .

I finally have a cappuccino machine at home

rivo

People in my immediate circle know that I enjoy a good cappuccino or latte. People even commented on my Starbucks card in the screenshot that I did in my Apple Pay review.

apple-pay-iPhone-6-plus

However, when I moved last year the one thing I missed was having a Starbucks nearby. Yes there are other coffee shops in the area and probably even better coffee, but I just haven’t found one that I enjoy enough to make it a regular stop. My old Starbucks was “on the way” to a lot of things. I have looked at expresso makers in the past and for a good one they seemed very pricey and very complicated to operate. Not to mention very big. I never thought about Keurig even though I enjoy my K-cups regularly. Had I known they had an expresso maker I probably would have gotten it day one. Well I did discover it and after a quick glance at the reviews with nothing horrifically jumping out, I ordered one on the spot.

keurig-rivo

This thing is AWESOME. I can now have cappuccinos and lattes without leaving my home. It’s also very easy to use and fast. Press the on button (it automatically turns off when not in use) and after a few moments of warming up you hear a beep. There is a water reservoir on the left side and a small container on the right for your milk. Drop in the Rivo cup and press the button for the kind of drink you want to make. The expresso will be made in the middle directly to your cup while the milk will froth on the right. Pour the milk in and you’re set! Like the K-cup system there is virtually no waste. Not counting the milk you’re paying approximately $1.20 per cup (not buying Rivo cups on bulk). Yeah that’s expensive, but a tall (small) latte at Starbucks goes for $2.75. So it’s actually cheaper for me. The taste was surprisingly really really good. I didn’t expect it to taste the same, but for some reason I didn’t think it would taste as good as it does. I’m very pleased. It’s also nice to be able to use almond milk instead of dairy.

You can get the Keurig Rivo here.

30 Days of Creative Cloud Tutorials – Recap Days 1-8

Adobe_Creative_Cloud

My 30 Days of Creative Cloud Tutorials is off to a great start! If you haven’t been following along, here are the videos you’ve missed:

Day 8 – How to Mask a Moving Object in Your Video with Premiere Pro CC

Day 7 – How to Change the Background in Photoshop CC

 

Day 6 – How to do an Image Map in Adobe Muse CC

 

Day 5 – How To Draw in Adobe Illustrator CC with the NEW Pencil Tool

 

Day 4 – How To Share Files and Folders in Adobe Creative Cloud

 

Day 3 – How To Place a Photo inside Text in Adobe InDesign CC

 

Day 2 – How To Rank, Rate and Mark your Photos in Lightroom

 

Day 1 – How to Do Masking in Adobe Photoshop

 

30 Creative Cloud Tutorials in 30 Days

PS_CC_totem

 

Happy New Year! I made a resolution to try to do even more video content this year and I thought of a way to stick to it. Starting today I’m releasing a new video tutorial each day for the next 30 days. These videos will be probably be shorter than my average videos concentrating on one or two techniques each. They will also cover a range of Creative Cloud applications including the Creative Cloud desktop app and the mobile apps as well. These videos will be delivered exclusively on my YouTube channel with the best of the best also appearing in my app:
.

So sit back and enjoy video one:

How To Do Masking in Photoshop CC

 



Page 3 of 15512345...102030...Last »